Bound To Stay Bound

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 Eva of the Farm
 Author: Calhoun, Dia

 Publisher:  Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2012)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 228 p., ill., 21 cm.

 BTSB No: 183062 ISBN: 9781442417007
 Ages: 9-12 Grades: 4-7

 Novels in verse
 Loss (Psychology) -- Fiction
 Farm life -- Washington (State) -- Fiction
 Poetry -- Fiction
 Imagination -- Fiction

Price: $6.50

Eva writes beautiful poems on the farm her family has owned for generations, but when money runs out & her baby brother gets sick, the family faces foreclosure.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.80
   Points: 4.0   Quiz: 153349
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 5.50
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 57212

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 3 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 3.RF Fluency
   Grade 4 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 4.RF Fluency
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
   Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas

   Kirkus Reviews (05/15/12)
   School Library Journal (08/01/12)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (09/12)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 08/01/2012 Gr 5–7—Circumstances created by the great recession coupled with unexpected medical bills and a crop-killing disease in the pear trees place Eva's family farm in foreclosure. It seems that these days, the 12-year-old is losing just about everything she loves: Grandma Helen, who supported her poetry writing, has died; her best friend moved to Seattle; and now she might have to say goodbye to the farm, her sanctuary with its apple trees, haunted outhouse, and sun daisies. Written in verse that is more cathartic expression than storytelling, Eva's own poems are scattered throughout and accented with italicized spurts that highlight her feelings, fears, and frustrations. In an effort to raise money to help her parents meet the bank's requirements, Eva sells her poetry at the local farmer's market. After a newspaper interviews her for a piece about the economy, Eva is profiled on TV and a Seattle talk show where she brings media attention to her family's plight. Despite her sincere efforts, she eventually must acquiesce to her family's financial misfortune and accept a new future even as she vows to always remain in spirit, "Eva of the farm." Like the protagonist in Katherine Hannigan's Ida B (Greenwillow, 2004), Eva presents a sense of urgency and pathos through the symbolism of an orchid's companionship. The beautifully composed language slowly relays Eva's journey through the realities of adult problems, and intuitive readers will appreciate the lyrical and metaphorical imagery. Collagelike illustrations introduce each section. This text offers much to prompt discussion and poetry writing.—Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 09/02/2012 Twelve-year-old Eva (Evangeline) loves her life on the family orchard in Washington State, loves her baby brother Achilles, and loves to write poetry. Indeed, writing poetry is Eva’s way of making sense of her world, as she writes about how much she misses her grandmother and her former best friend, Chloe, and how she worries that her family will lose their farm that, to her, is utterly magical. This last worry is not an idle one, as a events soon put Eva’s family in dire financial straits. However, Eva’s poetry, a newfound adult friend, and Eva’s own strength bolster her through this difficult time, and although the story ends with the farm’s ownership still in limbo, there is a feeling of hope and possibility as well. Calhoun writes Eva’s story in ragged-right-margin prose, with Eva’s many poems tuned a bit tighter and printed in italics to differentiate them from the main narrative. The poetic voice of the narrative generally works well, and some of Eva’s poems are lovely in their simplicity (“Sit/ in the pure snow./ Fall/ on your back. Swish/ arms up and down./ Make/ a snow angel./ Do/ it again./ Fill/ the orchard with angels./ Watch/ them rise from the snow./ Send/ them flying to Achilles”). Others are a bit overwrought, even for an imaginative twelve-year-old, and Eva’s melodramatic artistic nature slips into the histrionic at times. Calhoun deftly handles Eva’s relationships with her parents, her brother, and her former BFF, however, rendering them realistic in their complexity and intensity. The potentially hopeful but ultimately unresolved ending is also refreshing, and kids who have also faced financial uncertainty may especially relate to Eva’s family’s plight. JH - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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